Channel 4 cites tough economy in cutting 150 jobs

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A poor advertising outlook and "some of the most challenging economic circumstances" in the broadcaster's history will force Channel 4 to slash 150 jobs, or about 15% of its work force, CEO Andy Duncan told staffers Tuesday.

The latest cost-reduction program — aimed at saving £100 million ($186 million) over two years — comes as media regulator Ofcom is set to announce today its recommendations regarding the broadcaster's longer-term financial future.

The broadcaster, which also encompasses digital channels E4, More4 and FilmFour, said it will cut 2008 group program spending by more than £25 million ($46 million) from the £617 million spent in 2007.

An additional £25 million will be culled from marketing, new business development and back-office services, and almost £50 million ($93 million) will be cut from budgets in 2009. Duncan said the new head count will be achieved initially by offering voluntary redundancies and staff consultation in a bid to minimize compulsory pink slips.

"With revenue falling, we've no alternative but to cut costs. My particular regret is the impact of these job losses among our skilled and dedicated work force," Duncan said. (partialdiff)
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